According to a report conducted by think tank Commonwealth Exchange the number of Australian migrants coming to the UK has drastically fallen in recent years. The figures show that Australian migration to the UK has gone from 40,000 in 1999 to just 26,000 in 2011. The findings of the report sparked a debate in UK’s Parliament as a number of MPs are pushing to ease visa restrictions placed on Australian nationals.
UK Immigration Policies Discriminative against Commonwealth Countries
On 29 January 2015 a heated debate took place in Parliament which questioned whether countries should still have the Queen as a Head of State, if they do not hold the same immigration privileges given to EU nationals. A number of MPs in Parliament were arguing that the current UK immigration policies were ‘discriminating against Commonwealth citizens, notably Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians’.
Conservative MP, Andrew Rosindell believes that the UK should introduce an immigration policy that shows preference to countries that have shared cultural and historical links, such as language and have the Queen as Head of State.
“Being a subject from one of Her Majesty’s realms or being from a Commonwealth nation should count for something when looking to visit, work, study or live in the United Kingdom, at the moment it appears to count for little. As a result over the past 13 years immigration from Australia and New Zealand -two nations with which we have a shared history and culture like no other, expect perhaps for Canada — has almost halved, whereas immigration from EU continues to rise at a rapid pace.”
In defense of the UK Government, Undersecretary of State Karen Bradley stated that there are a number of visa routes for Australian nationals to come to the UK. Furthermore, First Secretary of State William Hague added that although migration restrictions against Australians is recognised it was not stopping them from visiting the UK.
UK Visa Routes for Australian Nationals
General Visitor visa: You can apply for a General Visit Visa if you wish to come to the UK to see friends or family or as a tourist. If you have family members settled in the UK they can sponsor your visit.
UK Ancestry visa: The UK Ancestry visa route is for Commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent who was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man prior to 31 March 1922 and who wishes to migrate to the UK with the freedom to live and work.
Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme: This scheme is for young people aged between 18 – 31 years old who want to live and work in the UK. Every year the government allocates a number of places on the scheme for each country and territory. The countries currently participating in the scheme are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco, Taiwan and Republic of Korea.
Legal Advice & Successful UK Visa Applications
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide all Australians through the process of making a visa application to the UK step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.